Phillies Trade Former First-Round Pick Jesse Biddle to Pirates

Mar 13, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jesse Biddle  throws a pitch during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Bright House Field. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 13, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jesse Biddle throws a pitch during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Bright House Field. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies have cut bait on their 2010 first-overall pick. Jesse Biddle has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, per multiple reports. The Inquirer had it first.

The Phillies received right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina in the deal. Medina, 27, is a three-year MLB vet with a career 3.08 ERA.

Biddle was the 27th overall pick in the 2010 season, a graduate of Germantown Friends who grew up in Mt. Airy. He grew up a Phillies fan and was in the stands for both halves of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. In fact, he got sick after spending the night in the rain, and wasn’t able to attend the victory parade. When the Phillies announced his signing, he was jocular with the press: “I’m getting the start tonight. Halladay is now the number two.” He was even somehow related — distantly — to Owen Biddle (of Roots fame) and Nicholas Biddle (of Second Bank of the United States fame). This seemed like the best “local boy done good” story in Philadelphia history. Read more »

Phillies Unveil New Red Alternate Jerseys

Phillies - Red alternate jerseys - 2016

For the first time in years, the Phillies will wear red jerseys in the regular season.

The Phillies announced today that the jerseys, created by Majestic, will make six appearances during the 2016 season. They’ll make their debut on April 14th at Citizens Bank Park.

“We’re excited to bring a new, colorful look to Citizens Bank Park this year,” David Buck, the Phillies’ senior vice president of Marketing and Advertising Sales, said in a release. “We have great respect for the history of our uniform, so by going with a simple, classic design, we feel we’ve been able to balance a new look with our storied tradition.”

The Phillies will be wearing the red jerseys at their afternoon businesspersons specials this year; the other dates are Wednesday, May 18th; Wednesday, June 8th; Monday, June 20th; Wednesday, July 6th and Thursday, August 4th. Fans can began purchasing the new red jersey starting Friday. Read more »

Missanelli: 2020 Is Going to Be Like 1980 for Philly Sports

Ron Jaworski (Manny Rubio, USA Today Sports), Tug McGraw ("Tug McGraw Phillies" by Philadelphia Phillies / MLB - ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.); Julius Erving ("JuliusErvingSlamDunk1981" by Jim Accordino. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.); Bobby Clarke ("Bobby Clarke 1983" by Bruce Bisping - ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

Ron Jaworski (Manny Rubio, USA Today Sports), Tug McGraw (Philadelphia Phillies / MLB); Julius Erving (Jim AccordinoCC BY 2.0 via commons.); Bobby Clarke (Bruce Bisping, public domain via commons.)

If you can wait four more years until we get to 2020, sports in Philadelphia is going to be pretty good.

That’s what my crystal ball says. My theory is this: All four teams in Philadelphia right now are at the bottom rung of a ladder, but all four are on a plan to build up from scratch until they get to a championship level. By my estimation, that’s going to take four years for the Eagles, Flyers, Sixers and Phillies. But it’s going to be worth the wait. We’re going to wake up one day, and the year 2020 is going to be just like 1980.

Remember then?

The Phillies won the World Series over the Royals; the 76ers faced the Lakers in the NBA finals (where they came up painfully short, but set the stage for their eventual triumph in ’83); the Eagles were in the Super Bowl (though they painfully lost to the Raiders); and the Flyers were in the Stanley Cup finals (where they just as painfully lost to the Islanders). All four teams played for a championship that year. That was Philadelphia sports’ highest peak.

Let’s look at the state of Philly sports right now: Read more »

Phillies Hire Ex-YouTube Analyst, 30, for Front Office Analytics Gig

phillies-youtube

Perhaps the Phillies can Rickroll their opponents to distract them next season.

Okay, maybe not. But today the team announced it had hired 30-year-old Andy Galdi to oversee the team’s baseball analytics office, per a release from the team, “including data visualization and reporting, statistical research, and data infrastructure.” Galdi’s last stop before coming to the Phillies was as an analyst for Google’s YouTube.

Will he be any good? Who knows! He’s only had two previous baseball jobs; one with the Cardinals on a freelance basis in 2012, and an internship with the Mets in 2009. Per his LinkedIn, Galdi “investigated the statistical validity of various contractual and game strategies including when to pay over slot for drafted players and when to sacrifice bunt” during his time with the Mets.

Will we hear about this guy at all? Probably not! Even if he is delivering statistical scouting reports to Pete Mackanin and telling him when to bunt, it seems like he’s going to be a behind-the-scenes guy. Read more »

Howard Denies Doping Report, Attorney Threatens Lawsuit

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) runs the bases after hitting a two RBI home run during the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) runs the bases after hitting a two RBI home run during the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies’ first baseman Ryan Howard is denying an Al Jazeera report he used performance enhancing drugs, and his attorney is threatening to sue the TV network for the allegations. The source of Al Jazeera’s report has recanted his allegations.

William Burck. the attorney for both Howard and the Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman — also named in the report — told 6ABC court action could be forthcoming. Read more »

Report: Pete Rose Will Remain Banned From Baseball

Jun 1979; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1979 season at Riverfront Stadium prior to his game against the Cincinnati Reds. | Photo By Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY

Jun 1979; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1979 season at Riverfront Stadium prior to his game against the Cincinnati Reds. | Photo By Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY

Pete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader who has been suspended from baseball for a quarter-century because he bet on baseball, will not be reinstated. The news was first reported today by the New York Times. Read more »

The Phillies Actually Got a Former No. 1 Pick in the Ken Giles Trade

From left: Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez.

From left: Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez.

Last week, I wrote about why the Phillies were right to trade Ken Giles. He’s a closer, a piece that’s often available on the open market, instead of via the draft.

Turns out the trade was a bit different than what was originally reported by media outlets. The Phillies did not ultimately get outfielder Derek Fisher in the deal. Instead, this was their full haul from the Astros for Giles and 17-year-old infielder Jonathan Arauz: Right-handers Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Thomas Eshelman and Harold Arauz and left-hander Brett Oberholtzer. The Phillies got five pitchers, and they managed to trade one Arauz for another Arauz. Read more »

Why the Phillies Were Right to Trade Ken Giles

Sep 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Mets, 7-5. | Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Mets, 7-5. | Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball’s winter meetings took place this week. While these were once the time when the Phillies laid the groundwork for major deals like trading for Roy Halladay or re-signing Cliff Lee, that was in the team’s glory days of, um, a few years ago. The Phillies lost 99 games this year, the worst record in baseball. Unless they lock up a guy long term, it doesn’t make any sense for a young, rebuilding team like the Phillies to make a big splash for a major-league player.

But they did agree to a trade yesterday. The Phillies will send closer Ken Giles to the Astros for four prospects. In essence, the trade is similar to the trade of Jimmy Rollins last winter, or the in-season trades of Ben Revere, Jonathan Papelbon, Cole Hamels and Chase Utley: These guys are solid players, and the Phillies are not going to be good next year. Why not trade these players now for younger prospects who may be in their primes when the Phillies are good again? (This assumes the Phillies will ever be good again, but stay with me here.)

There is one major difference: Ken Giles is only 25. After Papelbon was traded on July 28th of last season, Giles finished 22 games for the Phillies and had 15 saves. He had a 1.71 ERA after assuming the closer’s role. Opposing batters hit just .198 during that stretch. He’s pretty good! A rebuilding team may not need an elite closer, but Ken Giles is young! He might still be good by the time the Phillies are good again.

So why is it a solid move? Read more »

This 2016 Phillies Wall Calendar Has So Many Ex-Phillies

cole-phillies-calendar

With 2016 less than two months away, we’re approaching peak calendar season — the time of year when empty mall storefronts become pop-up calendar shops, and you consider buying a wall calendar even though you only really keep track of your time with a digital calendar, if at all. Then you pick one up because they make great Secret Santa presents!

Anyway, I’d avoid this particular Phillies calendar made by Turner Licensing if you’re buying one — unless you’re buying a calendar for a sadist. Not only is since-traded Phillies ace Cole Hamels on the cover, but the calendar is full of former Phillies. Read more »

Cliff Lee Given $12.5 Million to Not Pitch for the Phillies

cliff-lee-ws

The Phillies officially declined Cliff Lee’s club option for 2016 today, which means the pitcher is now a free agent. As part of his contract, the Phillies will pay him $12.5 million to not pitch for them this season.

Nice work if you can get it! Per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, Lee was owed $27.5 million this year if he pitched for the Phillies. The Phillies actually saved $15 million by paying him eight figures to go away.

We’ve known since last year that his career was probably over. Just recently Lee sold his condo at 1706 Rittenhouse, as Property reports today. Read more »

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